Feeds

Barry Fox promotes virus abuse on radio

Lawbreaking antics live on air

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Barry Fox, veteran electronics journalist and media pundit, lost his marbles live on London radio last night when he advocated sending viruses to people who annoy you.

Speaking on the Clive Bull show on LBC, regular guest Barry appeared to forget both his years of IT experience and the law relating the misuse of computers when he informed listeners he had deliberately sent the SirCam virus to an address that has sent him an unwanted email.

The email itself was one of the old Nigerian money making scams. This makes matters worse - if Barry infected the host machine with SirCam, the virus would proliferate far faster than on a normal machine since it would contain hundreds of thousands of emails addresses.

As a well-recognised IT pundit, frequently appearing in the nationals and on TV and radio, such a remark would have wide repercussions. Barry prides himself on his friendly-uncle approach to complex IT matters, speaking clearly and simply. Advocating sending viruses though is more senile grandad behaviour.

It has also only been a couple of weeks since the New Scientist had to print an apology following a Barry Fox article, in which he had said that a new copyright protection system for CDs could cause your loudspeakers to blow up. The "correction" denied that any such thing was possible on any level.

This was a simple case of apologising for going over the top; but by publicly announcing he had deliberately sent a virus Barry has left himself open to the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

Expert in this field, Neil Barrett from Information Risk Management, said that, yes, if Barry could be proven to have sent a virus on purpose, he had infringed the Act. And as for punishment? "It is all depends on the reason behind it," he told us. "If it was to cause unlawful damage, that is covered by section two of the Act. If it was sent to realise some information on the computer - intrusion with intent - then that is section three."

The SirCam virus comes under section two, Neil told us, and as such Barry could face a fine of a few thousand pounds, a jail sentence of a few months or both.

Has Barry finally lost it? What's next? Cancer threat from CD drives? We await with interest. ®

Related Story

'Hi-fi nuking' CD technology safe claims developer

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.